Expansion in the Clouds

As more software companies move to SaaS (software-as-a-service) utilizing a cloud platform, construction companies are seeking ways to use those services to their best advantage. That’s not only true in the U.S., but across the globe and aggressive companies see opportunities in foreign markets. One such company is Texas-based ECI Software Solutions.

In October this past year, it purchased Merchant Systems Group Limited, the U.K.-based developer of the eCommonSense platform, an eCommerce and product data management solution specifically designed for lumber and building materials, hardware/home center, and related home supply dealers. Designed by a tradesman specifically for the building materials supply sector, eCommonSense integrates with the most common business management systems so that building suppliers can improve efficiency, grow profitably, and increase customer satisfaction. eCommonSense will join ECI’s LBM and Hardlines group, which will leverage eCommonSense as both an integration to its cloud-based ERP solutions as well as a standalone global eCommerce solution.

Permits PDQ

Obtaining a building permit can be a time and money consuming job. Many contractors find they need help to navigate the bureaucracy that revolves around permitting at the local and state level. That is often true for the local government agency, too.

Specialized software exists to help local building and planning agencies to make the job easier and getting up to speed on these solutions can be PDQ—pretty darn quick. For example, the City of Santa Ana, Calif. sought to modernize its permitting functions along with enforcement and inspections by contracting with Avocette Technologies as implementer of Clariti solutions.

Where, When, and What

Trades need a way to schedule appointments, know where to go, and be prepared for the job that they will find that needs to be done. Technology solutions have been proffered for years, most designed for large companies or general contractors. Some trades require very specialized information when making a schedule, dispatching workers, and preparing the paperwork. As is the case in many aspects of software development, having hands-on experience in the work, not just theory and programming, can make all the difference.

Adam Cory, a former general manager of an HVAC company, found himself dissatisfied with the general applications already on the market so he developed his own. ThermoGRID is a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution designed to help contractors, cleaning companies, electricians, HVAC technicians, lawn care/landscaping businesses and plumbers to manage scheduling, dispatching, invoicing, client history, and inventory management, among other functions.

Sunny with 5 Clouds

The term “the cloud” has been around for a few years and most people have had some interaction with the cloud whether they know it or not. So much software and services are based in cloud servers that using the term is no longer necessary. But since the cloud requires a lot of computer power, memory and storage, there are only a few companies with the resources to provide those services.

Because the cloud moves data access and manipulation off the local computer or server, it is used for a variety of activities, often described in an acronym containing “aaS’ as in SaaS (Software as a Service) or IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). And, according to IDC (Intl. Data Corp.) the combined revenue of the top five public cloud service providers (Oracle Corp., Amazon Web Services Inc., Salesforce.com, Inc., Google LLC, Microsoft Corp.) capturing more than one third of the worldwide total, growing 35% from 2018-2019.

Expanding and Aiding Their Markets

While many companies are slowly reopening, others in the technology segment have been busy all along. Remote work isn’t possible when the job requires hitting a nail on the head but much easier when the end product is a software solution. And many software companies have run remote operations for years, so the current stage isn’t drastic. What is happening, and how it helps construction companies, makes for an interesting story.

As an example, McCormick Companies Group, a provider of software solutions for the construction industry, has acquired TriBuild Construction Management Software. TriBuild Construction Management Software is a SaaS (Software-as-a Service) solution designed for specialty trade contractors to manage their construction projects. It allows contractors to standardize important project operations like submittals, RFI’s (requests for information), and change orders in a cloud-based system.

The Age of the Cloud in Construction

Every year, we watch analyst predictions closely to determine trends currently in the market—and those that are gaining momentum for the future. It is pretty safe to say we are firming entrenched in the era of the cloud.

CRM: What’s Your Strategy?

I recently came across some interesting numbers from Gartner, www.gartner.com, Stamford, Conn., that show the CRM (customer-relationship management) software market grew 12.3%, and it has me thinking about the correlation in construction.

BIM: In the Lifecycle

Continuing with the BIM blog series from the past few weeks, I would like to turn my attention to a widely discussed topic in many construction circles as of late—extending BIM-related data throughout the lifecycle of a facility.

Collaboration Drives SaaS

The cloud has been a boon to document management. Case in point: ProjectReady, www.project-ready.com, Yonkers, N.Y., a cloud collaboration and document management provider released its SaaS (software-as-a-service) subscription model for the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry.